First Experience With VFR Navigation

Recently a topic came up on VFR navigation. I would highly recommend it if you’re interested. Without this topic, I wouldn’t be making this thread. You can find that here. I was wanting to try this, but actually putting this into practice seemed a little harder. I finally decided to take the plunge and did a flight only using VFR navigation. I wanted to share my experience, and hopefully give you a few tips and tricks. If you are already experienced with this, most of the stuff if not all of it you will already know.

Planning

Planning is a vital step in VFR navigation. If you don’t do it nine times out of ten you will get lost.
I used Skyvector to plan. I wanted to get to Durant from Wiley Post with a stop in between at Ardmore. I live in Oklahoma so I am familiar with the scenery. (This helps a lot) I recommend starting VFR navigation at places you are familiar.


The red is drawn is the rough route I was going to fly.

When planning you want to pick out curtain obstacles to reference.
I picked out a few. I recommend using relatively large landmarks i.e highways, railroads, large buildings, briges, and towns.

My first marker was the Canadian River. It is fairly large and very easy to pick out.
In infinite flight, it looks like this.

The second landmark was a railroad which lead directly to Ardmore, and then to Durant.

Tips

Even though the satellite imagery in Infinite flight is awesome it can still be hard to differentiate between roads and highways. When I had trouble with this I would find myself going back LiveFlight.

Fly a GA aircraft. You might want to try this in a 737 and I’m not stopping you, but you will have a lot more fun using a GA aircraft.

Skyvector helped me tremendously when flying, and planning. I could always go back to it as a reference.

Try flying without a mini map. Having to rely on you’re planning skills and seeing it pay off is very satisfying and much more fun.

Conclusion

Would I try this again? Absolutely! Especially with the TBM right around the corner. With the experience, I have with VFR navigation it definitely helped flying in my home state really helped my success. would I recommend you do this? Definitely. It’s fun flying from point a to b but it was very fun to stir it up with VFR.

Recommended Links

VFR Navigation

Skyvector

LiveFlight

How To Read A VFR Sectional Chart

17 Likes

Another tip, once you’re in the air set the hud so that the mini map isn’t displayed and just look around. Way more fun. You have to check the main map for traffic though.

2 Likes

Yes! It is way more fun that way! 😁

1 Like

Mini map, not map. That’s nuts.

3 Likes

Whoops! That’s what I meant. Thanks for pointing that out.

I’m so glad my topic helped! A lot of people don’t realize that planning and navigating starts on the ground — knowing ground features from the ground makes a huuuge difference in the air! Flying GA (instead of a 737) gives you more time for decision making. Way to go!

5 Likes

Thanks! I had a lot more fun than i expected. Normally i just use airliners but this was a fun break.

Here is the final result of the flight.
image
i would love to mabye even do a cross country but not before practice and a bit of help. We should fly sometime. :)

1 Like

Dang did you hand-fly the whole way? Or just change your heading a lot?

no, i was going to but my joystick decided it didn’t want to work today. I just changed the heading a lot.

1 Like

You can have the speed and altitude set to NAV but have the NAV heading turned off, then just fly freely using the yoke.

2 Likes

I do a fair amount of low level flying in the F-22. Flying at 500 knots 250 ft above the ground leaves little room for error. If I’m flying in an unfamiliar area I study my intended route using Google Earth to identify any landmarks. The other day I flew 373 miles continuously at low level, from Windermere to Inverness. This is the route I took:


4 Likes

I’d love to! One thing that can be fun with navigating is to use a map, but not one in the game. Having skyvector open on another device or printing off a section of it beforehand is about as real-world as you can get!

1 Like

@tomthetank Yeah. I actualy flew Ardmore to Durant in real life and that’s what we did. All the landmarks we used I used in the game.

1 Like

Recorded this flight from Inverness to Windermere. Distance 333 miles. Duration 39 minutes.



Here is a map of the route:


2 Likes

If I am flying VFR, no need to use SID and STARs right?

From what I’m aware @Hinata, you want to avoid the commonly used routes that commercial aircraft use to avoid conflicts. These are highlighted in various ways on VFR charts.

2 Likes

Alright. So I can turn and climb when ever I want or there is a procedure for every airport.

There is airspaces to avoid and aircraft to dodge so every experience is different. Lots of stuff to look at.

This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.